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Digital processes aren’t new, but the pandemic forced many businesses to shift from digital-first operations to digital-by-default. As a result, CIOs had to rapidly accelerate their digital transformation strategies. But many CIOs have been slow to deliver on this digital imperative due to constraints from their current fragmented infrastructure, heterogeneous environments, and API sprawl.

Since business units operate independently, they often choose different technology stacks, clouds, API protocols, and architectures to meet their specific needs. However, this makes connecting enterprise-wide services nearly impossible. 

What are the top CIO priorities that UAPIM addresses?

CIOs can’t afford to rip and replace their entire infrastructure to achieve this agile, composable future; the only way to achieve it from their current state is with a universal approach that enables them to manage their entire technology and API ecosystem under a single control plane.

Let’s discuss the top four priorities for enterprise CIOs and how universal API management helps achieve them. 

1. Enabling a digital ecosystem 

An organization’s digital ecosystem is a full realization of its technology stack, encompassing its data, cloud, networks, interfaces, and more. A CIO must create a holistic strategy that keeps the organization’s technology and data operating effectively while leaving it open to future innovations in the cloud. They must ensure that teams across the organization can easily access and process its data to drive business outcomes; this includes making sure the ecosystem can operate with any cloud technologies to add transformative value in data management

Many enterprises – including several Fortune 500 companies – still lack a central catalog for all their enterprise APIs. Organizations need a single source of truth that offers universal discovery for all of their APIs to efficiently operate their multi/hybrid cloud environments. 

2. Secure the organization’s data 

Malicious actors can prey on enterprises targeting API endpoints by finding gaps in their software and services. Up to 75% of credential abuse attacks target APIs, which makes having a sprawl of separately and inconsistently managed APIs across the enterprise a dangerous risk. 

Security is often seen as a necessary evil, but CIOs must treat security as an enabler for growth. For this to happen, security and compliance measures must be consistently coded within each component of the ecosystem from the start. 

While IT ensures that the composable foundation of the enterprise is secure, teams across the organization have the tools to innovate and automate without putting the organization at risk. This ensures that security is baked into every process and product lifecycle.

To avoid becoming the next headline about a data breach, enterprises need visibility of their APIs to secure them at scale. Universal API management provides a single control plane to universally and scalably apply security and compliance policies across every API in the enterprise. By deploying gateways to these APIs, enterprises can protect every node in their architecture and improve the reliability and usability of their APIs with analytics. 

3. Enhancing business agility 

Business agility determines how quickly an organization adjusts to shifts in the market, whether in response to a threat or to capitalize on an opportunity. Agile organizations achieve speed at scale, easily remove bottlenecks, and deliver capabilities ahead of market pace, making them industry leaders. 

Agility is achieved when every team in an organization can work in the environment or architecture of their choice — all while IT centrally manages a universal control plane to discover, govern, and secure the organization’s packaged business capabilities and APIs. This single control plane helps architects and IT leaders reduce operational complexity.

Alongside these architects and IT leaders, developers are among the most important stakeholders within the digital ecosystem — meaning it’s critical to create the right conditions for them to drive digital delivery. 

By putting developers at the center of the business strategy and enabling them with easy-to-use tools and CI/CD techniques to work with a universal control plane, organizations democratize agility and innovation across the enterprise.

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4. Future-proofing

Future-proofing enables an organization and its technology to adapt to rapidly changing market needs. CIOs must ensure that any new technology they invest in will be long-lasting, to prevent ripping and replacing it later.

Composing your enterprise with the building blocks of universal API management on an open, flexible, and scalable platform makes this a reality. It allows the organization’s existing technology to be compatible with future innovations, while ensuring that previous investments remain intact. This assures CIOs that their technology stack will deliver long-term value to the business without missing out on any cutting-edge innovations. 

To learn more, download our CIO guide to universal API management

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